The NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series wrapped up its Group 2 points season last weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway, and it turned out to be a very good weekend for three local drivers.
Brandon Frye of Taft capped an outstanding season in A/Gas as he qualified No. 1, won the event and came away with the overall series championship.
Jason Barta of Bakersfield raced to victory (and finished second in points) in Nostalgia Eliminator I, while Bakersfield’s Mark Kirby beat Wasco’s Josh Wagner for the win in Hot Rod.
That was three wins in eight classes, a stout .375 batting average for the locals.
Frye is in his fifth year of A/Gas competition (a 7.60-second index), and this is his first championship.
"We’ve finished in the top five every year since we started, and third was my best last year,” he said. “This year everything fell our way and I ended up with the title.”
Frye started the season with a win in Phoenix then went out in the second round at the March Meet, where he said he generally struggles. He was runner-up in his next race at Sacramento and won the next race at Sacramento to put him 40 points up entering the finale.
“Everything went to plan,” he said of the weekend. “I wanted to qualify No. 1, and I did. Going into Sunday I knew I had the car if the driver just did his job.”
The track is holding a Street Tuner event for street-legal cars on Saturday night (7 p.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday) and will host an import Face Off on Sunday with actions getting under way at 8 a.m.
KCRP season ends with drama
Kern County Raceway Park wound up its NASCAR regular season Saturday night, and what happened after has left doubt as to who will emerge as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.
Lee Pullman won a Late Model race at Langley Speedway in Virginia on Saturday night, and when Ryan Vargas won the first of twin Late Model features at KCRP it appeared to lock in Pullman for his fourth title. Trevor Huddleston won the second feature at KCRP but needed to sweep to be in the national title hunt.
But during a post-race inspection in which several items were checked, it was determined that Vargas’ car used a 16- to 18-volt ignition system. Track rules stipulate a 12-volt system, and Vargas was disqualified. That made Huddleston, who finished second on the track, the winner of the first feature, giving him a sweep.
And now NASCAR is auditing points to determine the national champion.
To determine a Division 1 (Late Model) national champion, NASCAR ranks drivers by their best 18 finishes in series-sanctioned events. Drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of – up to 18 cars – and three points for a win, with an additional two points available if the driver starts 10th or lower.
Fewer points are awarded if there are not a certain number of cars in the race.
Pulliam finished with 19 wins, 36 top-5s and 43 top-10s. Huddleston has 22 wins, 31 top-5s and 32 top-10s.
Huddleston, who also ran at Irwindale, is the KCRP champ.
Roger Holder finished off his first full season of Super Street racing with a win and the track championship. Jason Galvin ended the Spec Mod season strong with a second straight win, but Jim Coffey was the track champ.
Louis Tyrrell won both Legends features, and every race this season, to win that championship. Brock Melo won the Mini Stock race and the series championship.
Five divisions at Speedway
The Racesaver Winged Sprint Car series rolls into Bakersfield Speedway on Saturday for its fourth and final race of the season on the third-mile clay oval.
Series points leader George Tristao won the last race at Bakersfield Speedway on Aug. 5.
Also in action will IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Lightning Sprints and the Bakersfield Hard Tops. Brad Pounds needs only to start the Modified race to lock up the track championship. Jason Nation has already clinched the Sports Mod title.
Racing starts at 7.